i'll avoid talking about the license system, i think that's been done to death by everyone else by now.
at first i hated the gambit system, it was part of the reason i stopped playing it the first time i tried it. "i don't even have to play the game, i just set the gambits and walk around!" well, yeah that's sorta true. i find myself doing just that sometimes, setting steal on the leader equipped for melee and attack any on the wingmen with bows, and basically running through areas. i get to concentrate on navigating the map for the most part. i like the idea of them, though they're not as complicated as i'd like, when i really want to put them to use. during big fights i find myself hopping around the menus because the gambits just aren't cutting it for me. maybe i just don't have the right ones, maybe there aren't any configurations for what i need, i dunno. anyways, its got its ups (and downs) and is worth looking at more when i'm doing my AI.
i finally got the blood sword, and it does Sap on hit! SAP! wtf i don't want sap, i want BLOOD STEALING! bah!
one of the things i really like is the random placement of treasure "boxes" and rare monsters, and especially the mark hunting - thats what i really like best about the game. some of the 'stories' for the marks are kinda retarded, but whatever. its wierd to say, but i like filling out the bestiary too, i might want to work that into my stuff.
i'm noticing the difference between the daggers/swords and hammers/axes is that while hammers and axes have the potential to do alot of damage, but at the same time they can do hardly any at all. there isn't alot of variation in the daggers and sword damage, i actually think that on average that "the best" axe you can buy will likely do the same amount of damage as "the best" sword you can buy. i've taken to sticking to the swords just so i can be assured of that average. i'm still trying to figure out the guns vs bows <_<
i've noticed that i've been relying mostly on buffs and straight attacks for my big fights, when it gets really tough i break out the quickenings. i haven't really tried putting the espers to use, but let's stay on topic for another half-sec. i kinda liken quickenings to square's answer to namco's tales series' hi-ougi thingers. pretty much the same idea, just slower and a little more boring. i guess before i think about linking specials i'll need to think about linking regulars into combos..
but anyways the attack spells aren't really all that important this time around. especially bothersome is that i have to faq alot of the bosses since i can't figure out what works and what doesn't right away. element attack spells are obvious, you just watch the damage. but then you have all of the "usually won't work" spells that would really help out that you can't really sit there and go through without taking a beating. i mean at first it was all about blind/berserk but if you can't silence or disable a boss who is pounding you with status ailments or high level element spells, what else do you do but grind for more levels? my idea of fun is taking some time to figure out what's supposed to work - not spending half an hour to get to a boss only to be killed by it because i couldn't figure out the trick. at least with zelda you're told what room the boss is in, and you've found an item in the dungeon and you're probably going to have to use it on him. there's nudges there. even if the boss is still hard, at least you go in with half a clue.
and anyways, what's up with that? why does every final fantasy have all of those useless spells? i don't use confuse or poison or doom.. who the hell uses doom?! death, drain, gravity... i mean, come on. i mean, the level X blue spells in ffv worked better, where'd they go?
i want to go on about the two-handed weapons, but distractions prevent any more thinking tonight. maybe next time